This set of 5 Japanese beginners chisels, comes with a free Shoun 400/1000 grit combination waterstone and one of our 6 pocket tool rolls to keep your chisels safe. Includes 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 18mm and 24mm chisels.
Making the switch to Japanese chisels can be quite a learning curve, so we asked Mr Fujikawa to make us some affordable chisels that would be easy to learn on but still suitable for lifelong use.
The laminated carbon steel and iron blades are die forged from material that has been pre-laminated at the steelworks (as opposed to forming each chisel individually on the anvil). They are heat treated to RC60, about the same as a good quality western chisel, so they are easier to sharpen and less likely to chip if you take too thick of a slice. They will take just as good an edge as the professional chisels but it won't last as long.
The handles are 2nd grade Japanese red oak, just as strong as the premium stuff but not as pretty – some will have mineral streaks etc.
All Japanese chisels are made using a socket tang construction, the bolster narrows into a tang that goes up a hole in the middle of the handle. A separate steel ferrule butts up against the bolster and constrains the wood onto the tang, forming a joint that becomes tighter with use. You might see a fine line running around the neck of the tool, this isn't a crack, it is the join between the ferrule and the bolster.
The knack to sharpening Japanese chisels is applying more pressure than you might think directly over the bevel. Whether honing the bevel or the back, applying significant pressure as far forwards as possible is the key. Japanese chisels are honed with a full flat bevel, the smith will set the appropriate bevel angle for the steel, heat treatment and intended use, just follow what is there and you will get the best out of the steel.
We are often asked about whether the hollow in the back will eventually meet the cutting edge as the chisel is used and sharpened. With each sharpening a small amount of material is removed from the back, causing the hollow to recede ahead of the cutting edge so there will always be a flat area immediately behind the edge.
The Shoun brand Japanese waterstone is from Ice Bear and is made with durable aluminium oxide and a slightly harder wearing bond than traditional Japanese waterstones.
The stones cut remarkably quickly, the grades are a step or two coarser than you would expect from traditional Japanese stones and I would still recommend using a fine traditional stone for final polishing, but for everything up to that point they are supremely efficient.
For freehand sharpening the Shoun stones are easier to use than normal Japanese waterstones, if you are transitioning from oilstones the same techniques will work, just use a little less downward pressure and let the stone do the work.
Shoun stones hold a lot of water and need to be submerged for a few minutes before use (until the bubbles stop) the surface should be kept wet in use with regular spritzing.
The 400/1000 grit Shoun combination waterstone combines the coarsest grade (for nicks and dings) and the most widely used for cutting away wear bevels and establishing a burr. If you find you are spending more than a couple of minutes on any sharpening stone then something's the matter, please get in touch.
180mm x 60mm x 30mm.